Take no notice of sunglass scare stories
19th July 2021
The ludicrous scare story that has been in circulation with UK regional media for a few years now seems to be getting another round of coverage. These stories claim you could get fined for wearing sunglasses whilst driving and fined for not wearing them! No doubt the “alarming” headlines that usually accompany these stories act as good online ‘clickbait’. Most of the content of these stories is factually incorrect. So again, let’s set the record completely straight. The only sunglasses you should NOT wear when driving are Category 4 ones that have very dark lenses that let in less than 8% of light. If found to be wearing these, you could be fined and if you had an accident your insurance company is unlikely to pay up. Category 4 sunglasses should be clearly described when sold and clearly marked either on the sunglass or outer packaging. In reality, Category 4 sunglasses are not widely available – you won’t find them in Boots. A variation on this scare story states that some sunglasses can also affect your sight, as the edge of the frame blocks your peripheral vision and if your sunglasses aren’t fit for driving, you could be penalised for careless and inconsiderate driving. This is also complete nonsense as sunglasses are no more likely to restrict your peripheral vision than prescription spectacles – and no one is suggesting you shouldn’t wear those if needed! Drivers are only too aware that it can be very difficult to see clearly in bright sun conditions, especially when glare reflects off the road surface (especially a wet road), or when the sun is low on the horizon. These conditions occur regularly and at all times of the year when driving so of course you should wear sunglasses as an essential, indeed vital, safety measure to combat them. It’s plain common sense.